How to seal and protect your butcher block counter tops and still get a natural look
I love the look of natural butcher block counter tops but I actually use my kitchen and was so torn between getting the look that I wanted and being functional and protecting the surface. Here is a look at my kitchen inspiration photo and you can check-out the counter top we picked in my blog pot here. Protecting butch block counter tops from moisture, especially around wet areas like a sink is so important if you want the material to last. The last thing I wanted was a shinny coated counter top but the idea of constantly oiling the wood sounded terrible. I'm not trying to open one of those sushi restaurants where they sand the counter before every dinner service. I just wanted it to look nice and be practical - is that too much to ask!
Lucky for me my dad is a pro and thought of a natural wood finish product called Bona Naturale. It is a waterborne wood finish that is as close to an untreated look and feel as possible while still providing a durable surface. It actually intended to finish hardwood floors so it is extremely durable. I cannot be happier with the way that it turned out. As promised it looks and feels unfinished. It is totally mat no shine to it at all. My dad actually put five coats of finish on the counters and it still looks like there is nothing there! I was so happy with the results that I decided to use this finish on all of our floors as well! Check out how the floors turned out in my blog post here!
The finish actually pretty expensive - you can find it for around $125 per gallon (you shouldn't need more than one gallon for counters no matter how big your kitchen is!). You can buy it here on Amazon (and it's Amazon Prime! very surprising for something so heavy). It is recommended for only professionals and I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to tackle it on my own. The product actually comes in two parts, the finish and a catalyst that activates a hardening process in the finish when it is mixed. After the catalyst is added you have to use all of the finish that you mixed, anything that is left over ends up hardening solid if it is unused. Kind of shows how tough the stuff is!
Also important to note that after treating with any finish you don't want to chop directly on the counter top (kind of a silly thing to do when you just went though all of the work to protect them). I wasn't planning on using my counter as a function "butcher block" anyway so this wasn't an issue for me.
Here is a peak at the counter tops right after we installed them. I will do another update in a few months to report on how they have held up. Kitchen is starting to come together!
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